The SteelHawks took the fire out of the torch in a 66-30 victory in Raleigh, NC.
Allentown, PA: Lehigh Valley Steelhawks (2-0) lit up the scoreboard against the Triangle Torch (1-1) in Raleigh, North Carolina to take a share of the North Division lead. The Steelhawks dominated both sides of the ball to make a statement on the road and get the victory, 66-30.
The Steelhawks were firing on all cylinders in the first half, scoring 38 points. The first quarter stared off a little slow though; after receiving the kickoff, LV went three and out, and the Torch blocked the long field goal attempt to start with good field position. They would cap the drive with a one yard run by their fullback, taking an early 7-0 lead. Lehigh Valley would counter with a 35 yard touchdown pass from QB Jake Jablonski (249 yds, 7 tds passing, 1 rushing td) to WR Greg Edwards (45yds, td). A tipped PAT would leave Triangle in front by a point. The Torch began methodically moving the ball down the field on their next possession, but before they could get to the endzone DB John Williams III (3 tackles, int) came up with an interception on the three yard line. The ’Hawks would turn that into a quick six points when Jablonski found WR Darius Prince (119yds, 4 tds) on a 48 yard bomb to give the Steelhawks the lead.
The Torch had the ball to start the second quarter; but not for long. LB/DL Tim Hume was a one man machine, getting credited with a sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, and touchdown all in one play to extend the ’Hawks lead to eleven. DB EJ Frain (3 tackles, int, 3 pbu’s) would come up with another interception for Lehigh Valley on the very next possession. And once again, the Steelhawks turned it into points; another touchdown pass to WR Darius Prince. Jablonski and Prince would connect on the two point conversion as well making the score 26-7. Each team would get into the endzone twice in the last five minutes of the half; Lehigh Valley’s second score coming off another turnover forced by the defense. At halftime, the score stood: Steelhawks 38, Torch 23.
The third quarter’s scoring pace slowed, Triangle scored an early touchdown to pull within eight points but that’s as close as they would get, and their only points of the quarter. Jablonski would finish the Steelhawks last drive of the quarter with his legs, punching it in for the score from three yards out.
After the defense forced another turnover on downs to start the fourth quarter, Jablonski would find WR Jerrell Young (75 yds, 2 tds) for a 43 yard touchdown completion on first down. K Spencer Hotaling would hit a deuce on the following kickoff to extend the ’Hawks lead to 23. Once again the defense forced another turnover on downs; and the Steelhawks turned it into quick points. The game ended with a LB Lenroy Neysmith (5.5 tackles, int, td) pick six to make the final score: Lehigh Valley 66, Triangle 30.
Jablonski was given the offensive game ball for his eight total touchdown performance, while the defense continued its stellar start to the season and got a collective game ball after tallying five interceptions, two forced fumbles, and adding two touchdowns themselves.
By scoring 66 points, the Steelhawks have also completed the Domino’s 50 Point Challenge for the first time in 2016. This means that fans can get 50% off menu priced pizzas for three days following the game at participating Lehigh Valley locations. Use the code SH50 to get the discount.
Next week the Hawks are back in North Carolina, this time in Winston-Salem to take on the Winston Wildcats. The next week the Steelhawks finally return to the Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center for a Friday night rematch against the Winston Wildcats. Kickoff for that game will be at 7:30pm. It’s not too late to get 2016 flex packs either. Both they and individual game packages to watch the Steelhawks play inside the PPL Center are on sale now. Keep checking for the latest news and events from the Steelhawks. For further information please call Lehigh Valley Steelhawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Clark at (610) 282-3100, or visit our website at www.LVSteelhawks.com for the latest Steelhawks news. Reserve your seat now by calling the Steelhawks office at 610-282-3100. The Steelhawks play all of their home games on Embassy Bank Field inside the PPL Center.